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LBC GameDay Preview: Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators

The Florida Panthers will visit the Senators in Ottawa today at 2PM at Scotiabank Place for the first of four contests in the series this season. The Senators will welcome Florida for a return engagement on December 18th. Ottawa will make appearances in Sunrise on December 3rd and on March 25th. The Cats have lost seven in a row, while managing to collect points in four of them. Tonight represents the middle contest of a three-game road trip. They dropped the opener to the Boston Bruins in Thursday night, 4-1, and will finish up against the New York Rangers tomorrow night. The Sens are two games into a five-game homestand. They opened with a 4-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadians on Thursday, and will continue with matches against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and the Boston Bruins on Friday before concluding with a tilt with the Columbus Blue Jackets next Sunday.

These teams last met on April 7th last season. The 12-20-6 Panthers were hosting the 24-17-4 Rangers in Sunrise. Ottawa was looking to stop a four-game losing streak, but were bested 3-2 by Jacob Markstrom and the Cats The Alien stooped 38-of-40 shots, while Marcel Goc and Dmitry Kulikov notched the tallies for the Panthers. Brian Campbell, Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky, and Jonathan Huberdeau each collected one assist. Craig Anderson took the loss for Ottawa, allowing two goals on 17 shots. * Full Recap * Box Score

Senators @ Panthers 04/07/13 (via NHL)

Kevin Dineen spoke later about Clemmers 40-save performance:
I think we’re all really happy with Clem’s game tonight, including his teammates,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “It’s one of those ones where he was a difference-maker. They put a lot of pressure on us and we were able to withstand it and find a way to win.”

Head over to Silver Seven for more on Ottawa.

Florida’s last contest would see them stick close to the Boston Bruins through two periods before getting buried in the third, with a final of 4-1. Jesse Winchester scored his fourth goal of the season with assists from Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau. Scott Clemmensen stopped 26-of-30 shots for the loss. Reilly Smith, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Torey Krug lit the lamp for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the win. * Full Recap * Box Score

Florida’s coaching staff was relieved of their duties after the loss. Before his firing, coach Dineen spoke about Florida’s continued struggles:

There’s not much to say. I think the score is probably not overly indicative of the hockey game. At the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters and that’s the two points at the end of the night. We’re going to continue to search for a way to find a complete game that’ll make a difference.

The Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Tuesday. Bobby Ryan, Marc Methot and Mark Borowiecki all scored, and Kyle Turris tacked on an empty netter for the final margin of victory. * Full Recap * Box Score

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators 11/07/13 (via Hockey Media Nation)

Check out Habs Eyes on the Prize for more on the Canadiens.

Game Time: 2:00 PM ET

Broadcast: FS-F

Radio: WQAM

All-Time Series: Florida is 28-40-4-3 against Ottawa all-time, good for a 42% success rate.

Season Series: First of four meetings


Florida Panthers: 3-9-4, .313, 10 points, on pace for 51 points. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 26th in the NHL. Last Five: O-L-O-O-L.

Ottawa Senators: 6-6-4, .500, 16 points, on pace for 82 points. Sixth in the Atlantic Division, ninth in the Eastern Conference, tied for 19th in the NHL. Last Five: L-O-O-W-W.

Today in Panther history

Florida is 5-1-1 on November 9th’s throughout their history.

1995 – Panthers 2, Oilers 1
1996 – Panthers 4, Penguins 2
1997 – Panthers 3, Capitals 2
2002 – Panthers 3, Flames 0
2005 – Rangers 4, Panthers 3, SO
2007 – Thrashers 4, Panthers 1
2008 – Panthers 3, Ducks 1

You always have a home here at Litter Box Cats. Today’s game is at 2PM, so check in for the game thread at 1:30. In the meantime, check out Silver Seven to get a feel for the Sens.